Is Benzoyl Peroxide Safe?

We have often received questions about the safety of Benzoyl Peroxide. Recently, the FDA concluded its studies about BPO, changed its classification and published their results. Below, is their finding with preceding and subsequent comments by

“The safety of Benzoyl Peroxide is periodically brought up as an area of concern to us. Questions about whether it may increase skin cancer risk or cause DNA damage (and thus damage or accelerate the aging the skin) are the most common worries. Given those concerns, I thought this information from the FDA was important to share with you.

The FDA has updated its safety classification of Benzoyl Peroxide to a Category I (Safe and Effective). In 1991, the classification was listed as a type III, which meant that more data was needed before the FDA could determine the actual safety classification (it was never considered to be “unsafe” though). The body of the research conducted since that time has lead the FDA to change the classification to safe and effective. The abstract is below, along with a brief summary of the key findings by the FDA.”

SUMMARY: We, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are issuing this final rule to include benzoyl peroxide as a generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) active ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) topical acne drug products. In addition, this final rule includes new warnings and directions required for OTC acne drug products containing benzoyl peroxide. We are also revising labeling for OTC topical acne drug products containing resorcinol, resorcinol monoacetate, salicylic acid and/or sulfur to meet OTC drug labeling content and format requirements in a certain FDA regulation. This final rule is part of our ongoing review of OTC drug products and represents our conclusions on benzoyl peroxide in OTC acne drug products.

Additional points of interest:

They did not find BPO to be a genotoxic substance, which basically means they do not believe that it damages DNA. They go on to add that even though BPO has been shown in research to create oxidative damage, that in humans, there are oxidative repair mechanisms that would likely prevent benzoyl peroxide from causing DNA damage.

They did not find BPO to be carcinogenic. They state: “We have reviewed a number of animal studies examining the carcinogenic potential of benzoyl peroxide and conclude that benzoyl peroxide is not a carcinogen.” They also determined that there was no evidence to indicate that BPO is a photocarcinogen.”

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic


Coconut Oil for Acne? It's a Myth!

 I actually can understand why someone who is desperately looking for relief from their acne might turn to coconut oil.  It contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It can help to kill yeast and parasites which improves digestion, and it can also boost your immune system to fight infections.

HOWEVER, the molecule for coconut oil is very small and will CLOG pores.  It is highly comedogenic; and clients that I have had who used it came into our clinic with a terrible mess of acne where they slathered it on day in and day out.

Here’s a review I found online:

I read all the fantastic reviews and was stoked (I ignored the few reviews that warned against using it). I attributed the initial breakout to the “purging,” only the purging didn’t stop. I even emailed the author of “coconut cures” when I started to get concerned. His wife responded saying to keep with it… and so I did (I was still hopeful). Finally, a month later (I used it three-ish months) I accepted the reality that this highly comogenic stuff was not purifying my skin… oh no. It was clogging it in the worst possible way. Fast forward two months and I am still dealing with this nightmare. I have officially gone from “mild” to severe. All in all, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

So, in the words of the review “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  Sorry boys and girls….

To really get rid of your acne, you need a program of the right products used in the right way.  Skincare 4 All Seasons can help you to get clear skin in a proven way.

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic


Physical? Chemical? Mineral? Zinc? Broad-Spectrum? What’s the difference?

 These days there are a myriad of sunscreens on the market. But which one is best for you? And how does it affect your acne? In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness month we felt the need to inform everyone of the benefits of sunscreen, why it’s important and which one is the best for your skin type. There are a few different sunscreen options and you should most defiantly know the differences.

Physical Sunscreens mean that they physically block your skin from UV rays. They will often use minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. If your acne prone skin is sensitive, look for a sunscreen that uses mostly zinc oxide. Don’t be afraid of its “chalky-white” reputation. Many companies have developed “clear” zinc, which has made physical sunscreen more wearable than ever before.

Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays. They are easily applied, with little to no appearance and a pleasing finish. You can recognize these sunscreens by their active ingredients: avobenzone and octinoxate, among others. Chemical sunscreens are not usually recommended for sensitive skin types.

You may have heard the term “broad-spectrum.” This refers to the UV rays, UVA and UVB. Your skin needs protection from both. A way to remember this is:

UVA is responsible for Aging

UVB causes Burning.

When shopping for a sunscreen, it’s always best to look for broad-spectrum coverage. Zinc oxide blocks both UVA and UVB rays which makes it an ideal choice. Chemical sunscreen formulas vary, but the label will state if it provides broad-spectrum protection, so be sure to keep an eye out for this.

Whether you choose a physical or a chemical sunscreen, be sure to apply it rain or shine, indoors or out, as the UV rays of the sun are able to penetrate clouds and windows.

For those of you battling blemishes, daily use of Face Reality sunscreens not only protects your skin from the damaging rays of the sun and maintains hydration; it also keeps those post-breakout marks from becoming a permanent fixture on your face. We offer a variety of different non-pore clogging sunscreens to suit your skin type and preferences.

Face Reality has sunscreens that all have different specs for each individual’s skin type.  Are you using the one that’s best for you?  Find out below!

 If you have oily skin or spend a lot of time in the sun:

Face Reality Ultimate Protection Sunscreen SPF 28 – A physical sunblock that contains both Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, which provides broad spectrum coverage from harmful UVA and UVB rays.  It also includes Allantoin which is soothing, moisturizing and promotes healthy cell renewal. This is an excellent choice for sensitive and rosacea skin types. 

 If you have normal/combination skin or dark skin:

Face Reality Daily SPF 30 Lotion – Our most lightweight sunscreen for daily sun protection. With no physical sunscreen added, this formula offers the least protection against UVA rays. However, its lightweight texture makes it a good choice for everyday wear. Women find it the most compatible with their makeup, and those with medium to dark skin tones will appreciate that this sunscreen does not appear pale upon application.

If you swim, play sports or are in the sun for extending periods of time:

SolRx Sunscreen SPF 44 – This sunscreen is a trusted choice of athletes and lifeguards for protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Originally designed for triathletes, swimmers and surfers, the SPF 44 Dry Zinc Sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection. 


Popping pimples 

seems like a good idea at the time. It’s quick, it’s satisfying, and it leaves you with a smooth surface. Problem solved, right? It might seem like it, but every day our Acne Specialists see the fallout from acne that’s been overzealously picked and popped.

Most commonly, popping pimples will leave you with very dark or red spots (even scabs) in the area where you picked. It makes your acne look WAY worse than it actually is.

These marks can take months and even years to go away. Picking too deep can even leave you with permanent pitted, “ice pick” scars that only laser treatments or plastic surgery can improve.

Squeezing a pimple damages the follicle wall deep inside your skin, encouraging further inflammation and breakouts in the picked area. You could get a cluster of pimples in the area where you popped, or the popped pimple could come back to haunt you again and again in the same place because the wall of that follicle has been compromised.

To get rid of an unsightly zit, we recommend applying ice to the lesion for a few minutes twice a day in order to reduce redness and swelling, healing your pimple from the inside out.

The absolute best way is to prevent the zits in the first place, which is what our system does beautifully. In order to keep acne from appearing on the surface, you need to stop it from forming deep within the pore. You need the right products used correctly to achieve this.

Stop experimenting with your skin and start getting clear today!

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic


Fading the Red Marks from Acne

The red marks left over from acne are frustrating. It’s bad enough to be battling acne, but then to have to deal with the red marks left behind? It’s just not fair. What we tell our clients is that only time can fade the redness… and it does. It takes a long time, but the redness will eventually go away.

The caveat here is that you have to be on a good acne management system to stop the acne in its tracks. Once you keep the acne from forming, then the red marks start to fade.

Are you ready to stop experimenting around and get your acne under control now? 

Skincare 4 All Seasons is ready when you are.

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic


Is Your Makeup Breaking You Out?

Perhaps you have an acne problem or maybe you just break out from time to time. Regardless, if you want to get rid of acne, you need to be careful of makeup that can cause acne cosmetica and worsen existing acne. When you go to the cosmetics counter seeking to buy makeup, moisturizer, or anything to put on your face, look at the label. If the words “hypoallergenic” or “non-comedogenic” make you feel confident that the product is good and safe for your skin, then you may very well have been duped. Many of the products that bear the label of some of the most trusted, most recognized cosmeceutical companies in the world have ingredients that can clog pores or exacerbate skin conditions.

Here are just a few common makeup products that contain ingredients proven to make acne worse:

Bare Minerals SPF 15 Matte Foundation

MAC Studio Fix

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer

Nars Blush

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup

As you can see, just because a product says “oil-free,” “healthy skin,” or “acne solutions” on the label doesn’t mean that it’s a safe choice for acne-prone skin.

To determine whether or not a product is safe to use, we recommend that our clients check the ingredients of every makeup product used on an acne-prone area of the face against our pore-clogging ingredients list. If you want to check the ingredients on the products you already have, you may have to go online to get the list of ingredients. Many skin care products only have the ingredients on the outside packaging. If you are prone to breakouts, it’s worth it to do the research and make sure your makeup isn’t making your skin worse.

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic



1. Myth: Washing Your Face Often Prevents Breakouts.

Fact: Washing your face several times a day will not do anything to keep you from breaking out. In most cases, it will only serve to irritate and dehydrate your skin. Acne starts deep within the pore – dead skin cells pile up faster than normal and get caught inside the pore causing a “microcomedone” (the beginning of an acne lesion) to form. You need products that penetrate inside the pore to prevent acne from forming in the first place.

2. Myth: Acne is caused by poor hygiene and/or acne is caused by dirt.

Fact: As said before, acne starts deep within the pore. Acne-prone pores shed dead skin cells five times faster than normal pores. Dirt and/or surface skin oil has nothing to do with the formation of acne. Even if a person washes their face several times a day, it won’t stop acne from forming. (See myth #1). Acne needs to be managed with the right products that penetrate the pores to stop acne where it starts.

3. Myth: Acne is caused by candy and french fries.

Fact: A diet high in iodides (the salt on those french fries) can make acne worse, but neither candy nor fried foods “cause” acne. There have been studies that show that sugar-laden foods and fast foods can make acne worse, but it certainly is not the “cause”. If it caused it then every teenager in America would have acne, but that is not the case. Acne is an inherited disorder of the pores – you either are prone to it or not.

4. Myth: Acne is just a cosmetic disease.

Fact: Any disease that can leave permanent disfiguring scarring on the face is more than just a “cosmetic” disease. It affects the self-esteem of the acne sufferer deeply, some to the extent that they won’t leave the house or even go to school. Some people can get staph infections with their acne, which can be dangerous if not treated. Some people take Accutane (or its equivalent) which can cause a whole host of really dangerous side effects. Acne is a disease that needs to be taken seriously!

5. Myth: You just have to let acne run its course.

Fact: Some people (not very many) never grow out of their acne. I had a client in her seventies that still broke out! For others, it is not worth the risk of potential permanent scarring that acne can cause. When acne can be managed with the right products, why take the chance? There have been studies done that people with acne get lower-paying jobs and get passed over for promotions. We live in a culture that rewards healthy, attractive people. While that may not be “right”, it is the reality. If you can do something about an unattractive condition then it is a really good idea to take action. Let an acne expert help you get your acne under control!

6. Myth: You should spot treat zits with benzoyl peroxide

Fact: Benzoyl peroxide is best used as a preventative for acne. It kills the microcomedones (the beginning of an acne lesion) before it gets a foothold in the pore. If you just spot treat with it you are only treating the existing acne and not all of the pores where acne may be forming. Acne can take up to 90 days to form and come to the surface, so the area that you don’t treat may be the area where acne is getting its start.

7. Myth: Acne can be cured.

Fact: There is no “cure” for acne. Most people will grow out of it at some point in their lives, but no one can predict when that will be. Acne can wreak havoc on your face until you do. The good news is that acne can be controlled by using the right products for your type of acne and used in the right way. You want an acne expert to guide you in this process to get your skin clear as quickly as possible.

8. Myth: Toothpaste can cure acne.

Fact: This is truly an urban myth. While toothpaste may be able to dry out existing lesions, it has nothing in it that can prevent acne from forming in the first place. And, if you want a spot treatment (which is, at best, a band-aid approach to your acne problem), there are better alternatives. Toothpaste can really burn your skin AND most brands have sodium lauryl sulfate in the formulation – a known pore clogger. (See list of pore-clogging ingredients.)

9. Myth: Moisturizer will make you break out.

Fact: Most people with acne are deathly afraid of moisturizers and with good cause! There ARE many moisturizers with pore-clogging ingredients in them. However, any product that is active enough to get your acne under control can and will be inherently drying/dehydrating. This means you will need to:

Start slowly with strong products to allow your skin to get used to them.

Use a sunscreen/moisturizer during the day to give your skin the moisture it needs so it doesn’t get completely irritated and dried out from your acne regimen.

Make sure the sunscreen and/or moisturizer you use is noncomedogenic (non pore-clogging).

Never use moisturizer over the top of benzoyl peroxide – it will stop it from penetrating the pore where it does the work of preventing acne from forming.

10. Myth: Products need to tingle or sting in order to know they are working.

Fact: While it’s true you need strong products to get acne under control, if they are too strong, that means your skin will eventually get too irritated and burned. Stinging = Burning!! At that point, you will have to stop all products that are working to get you clear and take a break for a few days. This will impede your progress of getting clear. Let your Acne Specialist choose the correct strength of product for your type of skin and your type of acne.

11. Bonus Myth: Accutane™ will cure your acne and you will never break out again.

Fact: We have scores of people come into our acne clinic who have taken Accutane (or its generic equivalents) who broke out again. Some took this drug not just once but several times (one woman took it seven times!). Isotretinoin (Accutane) can be a godsend for some people; but realistically, it’s not the silver bullet most people think that it is. And don’t let me get started about the health risks you incur if you choose to take it….

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic



Reading over the questionnaires of our acne clients reveals some disturbing trends. Most have seen dermatologists and most dermatologists prescribed antibiotics as the first course of action. I have clients, previous to being treated at my clinic, who took antibiotics for years! My question to them was, if it was going to work to control your acne, don’t you think it would’ve worked by now? I understand the desperation of wanting clear skin and the dearth of information about getting clear skin, so I hope that this article will help those of you currently on antibiotics to consider other options.

The first thing I want to say is that antibiotics do not get your acne under control in the long term. Acne is not a bacteria problem – it is an inherited tendency of too many dead skin cells within the pores. Antibiotics do NOTHING to address this underlying cause.  Even if you had an antibiotic that killed 100% of the bacteria, you would still have an acne problem.

So, now that you know why they don’t work, let’s also explore why it is not a good idea to take them.

1. MRSA – if you haven’t heard of the superbug MRSA, you need to know that this is a very dangerous type of staph infection. One main reason MRSA is so dangerous is that it is resistant to most antibiotics. Doctors run out of options for treating it and the result is death. Experts believe that MRSA evolved because of the overuse of antibiotics; and dermatologists treating acne primarily with antibiotics is a prime contributor.

2. Now acne bacteria is becoming drug-resistant. Resistant acne bacteria won’t kill you, but it will be much harder to control and achieve/keep clear skin.

3. People who use antibiotics are more than twice as likely to catch colds according to a study in the September 2005 Archives of Dermatology. The common cold is a virus – not directly affected by antibiotics; but antibiotics not only attack the harmful bacteria, but also the beneficial bacteria that are part of the body’s defense system. This results in increased frequency of viral infections.

4. According to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, heavy use of antibiotics may increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. The study looked at 10,000 women over eight years and found that those that took the highest amounts of antibiotics the longest, faced twice the risk of developing breast cancer than those that didn’t.

5. The results of a study published in The Lancet asserted that several prescription antibiotic regimens for facial acne vulgaris were not better than over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide.

6. Toxic side effects such as recurring nausea and heartburn.

7. Interference with the useful bacteria in the digestive system.

8. Frequent vaginal yeast infections for women.

9. Possible permanent staining of the teeth.

The best way to treat acne is with an at-home regimen that includes the topical use of an alpha or beta hydroxy acid that is strong enough to exfoliate but not so strong as to irritate or burn the skin, and an antibacterial product that delivers oxygen into the pores.

All of these products must be used correctly; and the best and fastest way to get clear is to get coached by an acne expert. Products alone will not clear your acne – you need an expert coach to get you there.

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic



Many of our clients have been on Accutane™ (isotretinoin); but what’s surprising is that so many of them have been on it for two or three courses to get their acne under control. One client admitted to having gone through the Accutane™ regimen seven times. Some of them didn’t get any benefit at all; however, most of them experienced significant clearing, but to their dismay, started breaking out again within months of stopping the medication. So, how disappointing is that?? They took huge health risks (again and again) for only a short term benefit? I don’t think most people know what the risks really are from taking “the tane,” so that’s what I would like to talk about here.

Roche Holding AG, pulled Accutane™ acne medicine from the U.S. market after juries awarded at least $33 million in damages to users who blamed the drug for bowel disease. Many have been relegated to using colostomy bags for the rest of their lives. This is just one of the multitude of side effects attributed to Accutane. Let’s talk about the others.

The FDA posted an alert in 2005 that said all patients taking Accutane™ should be closely watched for serious symptoms including:


suicidal tendencies


short tempers


loss of social interaction


loss of motivation

changes in appetite

If any of these symptoms begin to appear, the patient is advised to stop taking Accutane™ and to seek professional advice. In 2002, a director for the FDA told a congressional committee that they received over 3,000 reports of adverse psychiatric symptoms and over 170 reports of suicide attempts connected to the use of Accutane.

There is such a high risk of birth defects, miscarriage and fetal death, that women of child bearing age are only allowed to get a one month supply (even though the prescribed regimen is for 5 months) and cannot receive another until the doctor has determined that the woman is not pregnant and is on at least two forms of birth control.

Is Accutane™ Dangerous?

Accutane™ can cause other severe and even tragic side effects and psychiatric problems, including:

Crohn’s disease

central nervous system injuries

skeletal damage

liver damage

cardiovascular injuries

bone and muscle loss

ulcerative colitis


immune system disorder



Heard enough? Well how long after you’ve gotten off Accutane™ are you going to feel confident that you’ve dodged the bullet and haven’t caused irreparable damage to your body. Will the side effects show up in months, years, twenty or thirty years. Who knows?

The easiest and most efficacious way to get rid of acne is to use the right products for your type of acne in the right way, none of which have side effects more than maybe some dry skin every now and then. Even the cases of acne that Accutane™ works best for, inflamed acne, is the easiest to control with products.

I know that most people suffering from acne just want to be done with it and have tried every product under the moon. They may be using some good products, but it is mainly how the products are used that makes the difference in clearing your skin and not.

Coaching clients in how to use safe products correctly is what Face Reality Acne Clinic excels in; and helps people to get better results than Accutane™, often in less time.

If you are at the end of your rope and are desperate enough to consider taking it, please call or email us first to let you know what your alternatives are. We have a safe and effective way of getting rid of acne!

 © 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic



When I was in my mid-thirties I was shaking my fist at the sky saying, “Is this a joke God?  Wrinkles AND acne? Really?”  I didn’t grow out of my acne until my forties, but luckily I found an esthetician who cleared up my skin in my mid-thirties.  And that’s how I became an esthetician/acne specialist myself. I really didn’t want anyone else to suffer as many years as I had if I could help it.

More people are suffering from breakouts than ever before, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual meeting this March.  Even though over 50% of adults continue to get acne well into adulthood, if you are over 18 and have acne, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one.  It’s mortifying enough to have acne as a teenager, but to have it as an adult is downright humiliating.  People find themselves hiding from the public or unable to compete for jobs or promotions with clear-faced peers.

Professionals with acne are not taken seriously – a big problem for those who really need credibility not only with their peers but with their own clients.  It is tough not to feel like a failure when you have adult acne.  And it’s not just women who suffer – there are many adult men who come into our clinic looking for the answer to their supposedly teenage skin care woes.

What causes adult acne?

For most people who suffer from acne, they get to blame their family.  It is an inherited tendency of the pores to clog up with dead skin cells too quickly which causes a cascade of acne-forming events to happen.  So, some people, author included, never “grow out” of their acne until much older. (I was in my forties).  Other people don’t have acne in their teenage years, but start breaking out in their twenties and/or thirties. Why their acne laid “dormant” for their teenage years is a mystery, but as adults, many things can contribute to the onset of acne problems

Hormonal fluctuations caused by:

birth control

Plan B


premenstrual syndrome

medications, and


can also affect your propensity for breakouts, sometimes causing severe acne flare-ups in women who never got a single pimple as teenagers. If you are acne-prone, choose a birth control method that won’t make your acne worse and learn about the relationship between hormones and acne so you can prepare yourself ahead of time for any changes in your skin that may arise.  A condition called pyoderma faciale which mimics acne is a sudden breakout that happens to women in their thirties.

Medical conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or thyroid disorder can wreak havoc with the skin.

Medications for bipolar disorder like lithium, thyroid medications, anticonvulsant medications, lo-dose birth control pills, corticosteroids, sobriety drugs, etc, can also cause acne.

Pore-clogging makeup, skin care and hair care can be a culprit in adult acne.  Even if a product says “non pore-clogging” or “noncomedogenic” on the label you cannot trust it.  I have seen scores of products claiming this and look at the ingredient deck to see pore-cloggers.

Smoking can be a culprit when it comes to acne. According to German researchers from Technical University of Munich, report the results of a study which found that smoking is a clinically important contributory factor to acne prevalence and severity.

The difference between adult acne and teenage acne

One of the challenges of adult acne is that skin generally becomes less oily and more sensitive. Acne products and treatments that worked well in your teen years may dry you out or cause severe irritation. If you had acne as a teen, you may have noticed that acne seems to travel down and across your face as you age. You used to break out on your forehead, and now you break out on your cheeks. Then it goes to the jawline and sometimes the neck.  This is because the sebaceous follicles mature in stages. For this reason, adult acne is most commonly concentrated around the cheeks, chin, and/or jawline. It is imperative to use the right strength of acne-clearing products on older skin.  Also, starting slowly with a routine allowing the skin to adapt to strong products is an important strategy.

The good news: acne products can also be anti-aging!

People who have had acne since adolescence may be under the impression that their pimples are unstoppable. Adult acne sufferers have usually tried various prescription medications, over-the-counter acne systems and every spa treatment and facial under the sun. The reality is that effective acne treatments and products do exist.

At Face Reality Acne Clinic, we advise adult acne sufferers to work closely with our acne specialists for a period of three to four months to achieve a lifetime of clear skin.

One of our clients, Pauline, tells of her experience.


So, even if you have had acne all of your life or just started breaking out as an adult, there is hope for your skin.  And maybe even some skin rejuvenation to go along with your adult acne medications!  Let us help you find your way out of your acne problem to get rid of your acne.

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic



Foods That Can Make Acne Worse

Salty foods and food high in iodides are the culprit in making acne worse. Below is a list of foods typically high in iodides. We tell people to not go crazy around eliminating these foods, just be aware of eating too much of them.

For example, we had a client who was almost clear. She then came into our clinic all broken out and we couldn’t imagine what was going on – I asked her if she was eating a lot of seafood or seaweed. She said, “why yes, I’m sprinkling kelp on my food every day.” As you can see by the chart, kelp has the most iodide of any food. We got her off the kelp and helped her get rid of her acne again.

Milk (and cheese) is another BIG culprit – not only does it have iodides, it also has hormones in it that contribute to acne. Many teenage boys love to drink gallons of milk which is contributing to their cystic acne.

Health foods and supplements are not immune – vitamins almost always contain some form of iodide – it could be in the form of iodine, iodide, potassium iodide or kelp. Also, vitamins contain biotin and B-12 both of which make acne worse. Be careful with protein bars – they often have potassium iodides in them. Whey and soy protein powders for smoothies can be bad for problem skin – try hemp or pea protein powder instead.

We want you to be informed what could be making your acne worse – these foods are not the “cause” of acne. The cause needs to be addressed by using the right products in the right way. But it’s good to know what can contribute to your breakouts.

Iodide Contents in Food (parts per million of iodide)


Iodized Salt ¼ tsp 100 Kelp 1020 Cheddar Cheese Spread 27

Seasoned Salt 40 Cod 3 oz 87 Milk 11

Sun Evaporated Salt 30 Squid 39 Butter 26

Uniodized Salt 19 Crab 33 Mozzarella Cheese 13

© 2012-2017 Face Reality Acne Clinic



Going to a dermatologist’s office and getting prescription drugs is the logical, first choice for many acne sufferers.  Patients are usually given antibiotics, and/or a choice of prescription retinoids to try.  Most often, when this approach fails, the dermatologist will prescribe a new antibiotic and then often another.  When those treatments fail, physicians will often recommend a cycle of isotretinoin (Accutane - or its generic equivalents). Unfortunately, prescription drugs usually fail or only temporarily clear the acne, and there are many side effects which can be very dangerous.


Antibiotics never kill 100% of the bacteria and the ones that survive breed a colony which is resistant to that antibiotic.  That is why we are now seeing strains of bacteria that are virtually indestructible.  The PBS award-winning television program, Frontline, ran an episode called "Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria".  This episode should be seen by everyone because it exposes the harsh reality that people are dying from infections that even the finest medical teams and technology cannot combat.  The threat is growing and experts are very afraid.  Frontline has also aired a follow-up to this episode which will expose that the constant inappropriate use of antibiotics is much of the reason for the creation of these strains of bacteria.  Treatment of acne is one of those inappropriate uses.  This is the societal danger of unnecessary use of antibiotics; but, what about the danger to you, personally? 

According to a study in the September 2005 Archives of Dermatology, people who use antibiotics are more than twice as likely to catch colds.

According to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, heavy use of antibiotics may increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. The study looked at 10,000 women over eight years and found that those who took the highest amounts of antibiotics the longest faced twice the risk of developing breast cancer than those who didn’t.


Part of the FDA warning for clindamycin states: “…. clindamycin has been associated with severe colitis which may result in patient death. Use of the topical formulation of clindamycin results in absorption of the antibiotic from the skin surface. Diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, and colitis (including pseudomembranous colitis) have been reported with the use of topical and systemic clindamycin. Studies indicate a toxin(s) produced by clostridia is one primary cause of antibiotic-associated colitis.” I've had MANY clients who said they were experiencing intestinal problems while using clindamycin, but they didn't know the drug was causing it. Once they quit using it, their problems subsided.


While there are no reported “dangerous” side effects of topical retinoids, there are problems with using it for acne.  The cream form of Retin-A includes isopropyl myristate, a highly comedogenic ingredient which makes acne much worse.   Even if the patient is prescribed an appropriate retinoid, the retinoid often makes their skin so sensitive and irritated that most abandon using it before it becomes effective.


The FDA posted an alert in 2005 that said all patients taking Accutane should be closely watched for serious psychological symptoms including:


suicidal tendencies

short tempers

loss of social interaction


In 2009, Roche decided to pull Accutane off the US market after juries had awarded many millions of dollars in damages to former Accutane users over inflammatory bowel disease claims.   It can cause other severe physical side effects, including:

Crohn’s disease

central nervous system injuries

skeletal damage

liver damage

cardiovascular injuries

muscle loss

ulcerative colitis


immune system disorder

birth defects

Although Accutane has been taken off the market, other brands of the drug, isotretinoin, continue to be prescribed for acne, despite the serious long term health risks.

The Alternative to Drugs

Having successfully cleared the skin of thousands of  acne clients since 1990, I can confidently state that no prescription drugs are needed to clear up people’s skin.  In my studies of acne, I learned that although P. acnes bacteria is present, it is just a symptom of the true cause of acne.

What really causes acne? It is an inherited tendency of the pores to shed dead skin cells more quickly than normal pores (up to five times more quickly). This forms a plug which turns into an acne lesion, either inflamed or noninflamed.  This tendency is called retention hyperkeratosis. So, when you have your clients use products that keep the pore free from excessive cell buildup in a systematic way, they will clear up. 

Exfoliating serums like L-mandelic, glycolic, salicylic and/or vitamin A formulations used in combination with benzoyl peroxide get the job done. Which ones used are dependent on the type of acne the client has among other things. 

Recommending the correct products is vital, but just as important is how the products are used.  


ACNE 101

Acne is definitely a four-letter word for people who suffer with it. It is an inherited disorder of the pores – pores that want to sludge up with dead skin cells much like a clogged drain in your sink. Normal pores shed about one layer of dead skin cells per day inside the pore. The acne-prone pore sheds up to five layers of dead skin cells per day and the body just can’t keep up. This forms congestion under the skin which are noninflamed acne lesions (blackheads and/or whiteheads; and if bacteria are present (which just loves to feed on the dead skin cells and oil), you will get inflamed pimples, pustules and/or cysts.

There are two main types of acne as we see it – noninflamed acne and inflamed acne. Most people have a combination of the two.

What is Noninflamed Acne?


Dead skin cells and oil (plus other debris) form a plug inside the pore. If this plug does not become inflamed, it can become a whitehead — a non-inflamed lesion under the skin, also called a “closed comedone”. This is also called “maturation arrest” acne, as it has not “matured” into a blackhead yet.

This is another non-inflamed acne lesion called a blackhead, where the pore remains open, also known as an “open comedone.” In the case of a blackhead, the tip of the plug darkens as it is exposed to oxygen in the environment.

What is Inflamed Acne?


 As the oil and the dead skin cells build up, they put pressure on the cells surrounding the pore. With enough pressure, the sides of the pore rupture and the contents of the pore leak into the surrounding skin. Because this material contains a lot of P. acnes bacteria, the surrounding skin now becomes infected, creating a red bump that we know as a pimple. The medical term for this red bump is an inflammatory papule.


This is a pustule which is different from a pimple only in that it contains white blood cells. When the immune system fights off the P. acnes infection, white blood cells, which are soldiers of the immune system — pile up, creating pus in the pore.


A nodule is a solid dome-shaped lesion that extends below the surface, deep into the layers of the skin. Scarring is common with nodules and can sometimes leave an impaction behind, which can flare again and again.


When a group of pustules cluster together under the skin, they form a cyst. An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but is pus-filled, and can have a diameter of 5mm or more across. They are usually very painful and scarring is common with cysts.

Acne is a mysterious disorder, but one thing IS for sure – it can be controlled with the right combination of products used in the correct way. Just as in a clogged drain, the pore must be treated with products that unclog it, keep it unclogged and kill the acne bacteria. Face Reality Acne Clinic has what you need to do just this.
Face Reality Acne Clinic has a clear-skin system that will have your acne under control in about three to four months depending on your type of acne. We combine the power of clinical-grade homecare products that are customized for your type of acne and skin with a series of bi-monthly treatments that facilitate the clearing of your skin. We also teach you about other aggravating factors that make you break out – foods, medications, cosmetics, stress, and common ingredients in skin care formulations that might be clogging your pores (even professional and prescription products!).

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic

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Tuesday9:30AM - 5:30PM
Wednesday9:30AM - 5:30PM
Thursday9:30AM - 5:30PM
Friday9:30AM - 5:30PM
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